Title: Little Jewel Books series
Major Themes: Alphabet Books, Animals, Counting Books, Family Life, Nature, Science, Stories
Synopsis: A series of lovely picture books for little children with wholesome stories of normal Christian family life, as well as animal pictures and ABC or counting books.
We have always loved the Little Jewel Books, published by Rod and Staff Publishers. These are lovely little picture books for young children, which depict Christian families living and learning together. Some are nature-themed, and a few are alphabet or counting books. At the moment there are 52 books in the series; we have 38 of them. I highly recommend these books for any family with young children. Our little ones love them; some are looking rather well-loved! They are quality soft-cover books, around 32 pages per book, stapled together. The illustrations are hand-drawn and very lovely. I’ll briefly review the ones we have.
ABC Book of God’s Creatures by Mary M. Landis. Each letter of the alphabet has a couplet to poetically describe one of the animals God made.
Baking Day by Jemima Tamme. A little girl spends the afternoon helping her mother bake cookies and make dinner for the family.
Berries, Berries, Berries by Beverly S. Gordon. Four children, two brothers and two sisters, pick strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries for their family. Written in repetitive rhyme, this is a delightful story for 2- and 3-year-olds.
Birthday Friend by Marla Martin. A little girl tells her doll, in rhyme, how the family is making a surprise and then taking it along to share with a widow.
A Boy to Help by Mary Joyce Zimmerman. Five-year-old John would like to go out to help his father in the shop, but first he must spend the morning helping mother in the house, which he does cheerfully.
David’s New Ball by Janet Sensenig. Mother bought David a new blue ball when they went shopping, but he immediately lost it when it rolled across the road into the neighbor’s yard. Will the neighbor ever believe that is is David’s ball, and he didn’t steal it?
Elsie Waits Patiently by Sheila M. Burkholder. After Mother orders her new preschool books from a far-away publishing house, Elsie must learn patience as she waits for them to arrive. The language seems stilted in this book, although the story is good. I do highly recommend the preschool workbooks that Elsie was waiting for; we’ve used them with six children now and they are the best I have seen.
God Gives Us Work by Sharon See. In rhyme, the work that Father and Mother, and brother and sister do, is described—and even baby has a job! She brings joy to the family.
God Loves Me by Leora Zimmerman. Each of the five senses is used to portray ways that God loves us—He allows us to be able to taste many delicious things, for instance.
God’s Gifts by Mary M. Landis. Simple rhymes and beautiful drawings name many of the wonders of God’s creation (Butterflies with gorgeous wings, Flowers bright, And birds that sing,)
God’s Happy Family by Edith Witmer. Four short, poetic stories depict a family planting garden, helping mother, baking, and welcoming Father home from work. One of my favorite passages is, “I’m helping Mother, We’re going to bake—There’s bread, and granola, And cookies to make.”
God’s Jewels by Mary M. Landis. Delightful drawings and sparse, poetic text show the things that babies do.
God’s Wonderful Trees by Mary M. Landis. With poetic language to go along, lovely pictures show many ways that trees are used.
God’s Wonderful Water by Mary M. Landis. Beautiful drawings illustrate text that teaches little ones about water, where it comes from, the creatures that live in it, and who needs it—all of us! A delightful introduction to the water cycle.
Golden Deeds by Pauline Ressler. When James asks Mother what he can do for other people, she helps him make a list.
Happy Helpers by Ruth Ann Streicher. When Father comes home from a working bee and says, “Many hands make light work,” the two girls wonder what that means. Mother helps them learn the joy of working together.
Happy Seasons by Michelle Beidler. A few pages for each season show three children and their parents enjoying life together.
Helping Mother by Mary M. Landis. A little girl tells, in rhyme, how she helps her mother with the work around the house each day.
Just Four by Mary Joyce Zimmerman. Mary Ann is just four years old, not old enough to go to school like big sister Melinda but quite big enough to help Mother around the house.
Learning My Numbers by Linda Null. A short poem gives meaning to each number up to 12, using subjects such as God, nature, and family life.
A Letter for Titus by Evelyn Hege. Randy loves the fish his grandfather gave them for his birthday, and feeds them every day. Can he forgive when a visitor inadvertently kills the fish?
Little Jewel Bird by Lucy Ann Conley. Two children find a tiny hummingbird that fell out of its nest, and feed it until it can fly, when it goes back to its mother. This one is for slightly older children than most of these books.
The Lost Milk Jar by Lucy Ann Conley. Two brothers and two sisters take the sled and go to the neighbor’s for a jar of milk. On the way home, the brothers go too fast and the girls, and the milk, spill into the soft snow. How can they find the missing jar of milk?
Molly Helps Mother by Laura Clay. When Mother is sick and must stay in bed, Molly finds ways to keep her little brother happy so Mother can rest.
Morning on the Farm by Ruth Ann Rudolph. Each two-page spread shows a different animal on the farm, tended by a little girl in braids and a sunbonnet, and a little boy in overalls and a straw hat. The text on each page begins with the sound the animal makes, in this beautiful story for preschoolers.
My Blue Book of God’s Different Things by Mary M. Landis. Beautiful drawings of all sorts of animals, sorted in different ways.
My First ABC Book by Jessica Kauenhofen. A is for apple, B is for bubbles, C is for cake, D is for daisies…. Two to four lines of poetry name an object for each letter, with lovely drawings of little children.
My Green Book of God’s Different Things by Mary M. Landis. Page after page depict various creatures God made, grouped in different ways.
My Thank You Book by Mary M. Landis. What should you do when…Mother fixes your doll, or Grandmother brings gifts, or Father helps you look for your lost book? Say thank you, of course!
Peter’s Sailboat by Ruth Ann Rudolph. Told in rhyme, this is the story of Peter, who wished for a toy boat he saw in a store. He built his own, but lost it when a storm washed it away. Months later, he found it at the store and bought it back.
A Surprise for Tommy by Ella Grove. Tommy has broken his leg and must stay in bed—Poor little Tommy. To cheer him up, Mother plans a surprise, and Tommy laughs—Happy, happy Tommy! This poetic story shows a family working together to make someone happy.
This is Mohan by Ella Grove. This delightful story, told in rhyme, depicts the life of a little boy in India.
Three Happy Days by Edith Witmer. Three poems are in this book. A little girl is excited to see snow, another little girl describes going to church, and a little boy describes what he sees from a tree he climbed.
A Truck and a Tricycle by Evelyn Hege. When Samuel went to the kitchen to help Mother, he left his toy truck in the middle of the living room. What happens when he runs through the room without looking? Mother helps him learn a lesson about putting things away.
The Twin’s Picnic by Mary M. Landis. Susie and Stanley want to have a picnic outside, so Mother helps them prepare it.
Two Surprises by Lucy Ann Conley. After Emy Lou surprises Mother by hoeing the cabbages, Mother has a surprise for her.
Why Do I Cry? by Edith Witmer. Explore, in rhyme, the reasons why we might cry, and what makes us happy.
God Made the Seashore by Sharon M. See. A family visits the beach and discovers many intriguing creatures.
Listening Level—Ages 1 – 2, 3 – 4
Reading Independently—Ages 5 – 6